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Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

           
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Introduction and background
 
National investment 
 
South African IPBES Experts 
 
National focal point 
 
                     

The directorate Science Policy Interface (SPI) would like to inform you of the following Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) products ‘primers’, these are short briefing documents that provide key information about each of the assessment that members will consider for approval at the sixth session of the IPBES Plenary (IPBES6) in Colombia, March 2018.

The forthcoming landmark science policy assessment reports are near completion, and the representatives of 127 governments will review, for appeal, five landmark reports describing the state of knowledge about biodiversity, ecosystem and nature’s contribution to people.

The reports are scheduled for public launch at the 6th annual session of the IPBES plenary. The 5th IPBES assessment report is also due to be approved and launched at the same meeting in Colombia, the assessment report examines land degradation and restoration both regional and globally. The findings will also be key inputs to a new comprehensive IPBES global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Thank you very much for your ongoing support in the IPBES regional assessments.

For any comments or questions contact: Mr Kiruben Naicker KNaicker@environemnt.gov.za or 012 399 9622

Primers - reports

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South Africa is committed to strengthening the Science-policy interface, contributing to the Evidence Policy Agenda

 

 
 
Figure 1: Ms Wadzi Mandivenyi, Chief Director: Biodiversity Monitoring & Specialist Services welcoming the delegates and giving an outline of the Indaba

South Africa’s National Departments are faced with major challenges of growing complexities in Biodiversity and sustainability management which require decisions to be made with the potential of impacting greatly on biodiversity services and social economies. This places the national departments under pressure to gather evidence to support policy development and implementation.

This is mainly because society has become more aware of the fact that it is mainly affected by the policies which government makes and implements. Traditionally, researchers used to push the evidence to the policy makers hoping that policy makers will use the findings for decision making, which caused significant misunderstandings. Currently, the National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) is concerned and has become more responsive to the gaps that typically exists between the scientific and the policy-making community. DEA supports the uptake of evidence-based decision making and increasing the dialogue between the research and policy-making communities for the betterment of Biodiversity Services.

It also recognises that evidence is needed by policy-makers continuously in order to support strategies and policy development over the long term. DEA has shown a response to the need for evidence-based decision making through hosting of the Annual Biodiversity Research and Evidence Indaba.

2nd Annual Biodiversity Research and Evidence Indaba

 

 
Figure 2: Plenary session
 

Following the success of the Inaugural Biodiversity Research and Evidence Indaba, the Branch B&C hosted the 2nd Annual Biodiversity Research and Evidence Indaba. The purpose of the 2nd Annual Indaba was for policymakers, researchers, practitioners and civil society representatives to dialogue and report on progress made on research and evidence needs and priorities as reflected in the National Biodiversity Research and Evidence Strategy, whilst identifying and strengthening interventions of scientific evidence to influence decision and policy making.

 This year DEA partnered with the African Centre for Evidence (ACE), hosted and administered by the University of Johannesburg. The Indaba was also hosted as part of the build up from the South Africa-European Union policy dialogue and the Future Earth Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Lab on implementing the South African National Development Plan’s sustainability transitions through the domestication of the SDGs 12, 15 and 17.

 
 
Figure 3: Delegates registering for the Indaba

The Indaba attracted over 130 participants over a period of 2 days from across various sectors, including government bodies, academia, researchers and private organisations. At this event, it was fulfilling to see members of the Science-policy interface fraternity engaging and contributing to the research and evidence debates and sharing knowledge. Delegates shed more light on the present work being conducted, progress made and gaps available in the body of research and evidence, thus contributing to the evidence base for  biodiversity related policies and decision making.

This event (Indaba) embodied the commitment of various representatives of society in advancing the Science-policy agenda and significantly contributing to the global agenda guided by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

 

IPBES Functions

 

 
 
Figure 4: Four Functions of IPBES. 
 

IPBES provides a mechanism recognized by both the scientific and policy communities to produce, review, assess and critically evaluate relevant information and knowledge on the contribution of biodiversity and ecosystem services to sustainability generated worldwide by governments, academia, scientific organizations, NGOs and indigenous communities. It is for this reason that the South African Government through its National Department of Environmental Affairs is committed to promoting a domestic dialogue for an evidence-based approach to policy development and decision making, responding to IPBES and other international commitments.

IPBES is unique in that it also aims to strengthen capacity for the effective use of science in decision-making at all levels, and to address the needs of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) that are related to biodiversity and ecosystem services. South Africa is an active pioneer member and a host country for the IPBES Technical Support Unit for the African regional assessment administered by the CSIR. The IPBES assessments can take on a variety of roles at different scales, involving different knowledge forms and stakeholders. Therefore, the African regional assessment which was prioritised by the global community together with other regional assesssments,  is aimed at critically evaluating the knowledge for the African region on biodiversity and ecosystem servises.

These assessments further strengthens the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services by contributing to the identification of needs for capacity-building and policy support tools that are more relevant to the particular region.

Through these assessments we are able to contribute necessary evidence for decision making and relevant policy development by means of strengthening the dialogue between these communities, increasing the delivery of policy-relevant knowledge (local knowledge) and catalysing the formulation of knowledge-based policies.

Evidence-based policy making

 

 
Figure 5: Group discussions
 

As indicated, policymaking is a relatively complex process and is basically shaped by a number of factors including social, political, economic, and in other instances scientific context in society. This article endorses and acknowledges the critical role played by the researchers to provide the necessary evidence to inform decision making and policy development.

During the Indaba researchers were afforded a platform to share their knowledge and the work done on the ground, and this allowed information to be shared amongst researchers and policy makers. This was done so that the entire value chain of policy development and decision making for the Biodiversity sector is transparent and open.

In this regard, DEA is delighted to announce the success of this 2nd Annual Biodiversity Research and Evidence Indaba, confident that this engagement between the science and policy community will shape our contribution and progress as a nation and as a global society.

Title Delivered by
The (South) African Soil Microbiology project Don Cowan
Research & Evidence to support Policy and Decision Making John Donaldson

Evidence-based Decisions in the Biodiversity Sector

Prof Bob Scholes

Biological Invasions

Ntakadzeni Tshidada

South Africa’s first National Status Report on Biological Invasions

Tsungaizengeya

Using biodiversity science to inform development planning in support of national SEAs

Fahiema Daniels, Tsamaelo Malebu, Jeff Manuel
Innovation for Inclusive Development and SDGs Ms Nonhlanhla Mkhize
Evidence map on the links between ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in Africa Yvonne Erasmus
Policy Implications for Teacher Professional Development on Biodiversity: Lessons from the Fundisa for Change Programme Shanu Misser
Evaluation-Optimising Evidence for Accountability andLearning in NRM Programmes Prof Eureta Rosenberg
A model of work integrated learning to develop green skills in high demand Glenda Raven
Multidisciplinary and Multi-Objective Approaches in Support of the National Biodiversity Research and Evidence Strategy: One Health and the MnisiCommunity Programme –A Case Study

Darrella Bernethy

Incorporating the economics of nature into South Africa’s transition to sustainability acritical review 

Shakespear Mudombi

Protecting indegeneous fish biodiversity through the eradication of alien fish using rotenone Bonani Madikizela

Using technology for innovation and contribution to the economy from South African medicinal plants

Namri Talall

Enhancing the livelihoods of rural Free State communities through natural resource restoration Nokwanda Ngombane
An initial assessment of biodiversity -related employment in South Africa Mandy Driver & Fulufhelo Mukhadi

Green skills research for conservation - a baseline study of the nature and scope of green skills for conserving 

Lameez Eksteen
The role of different types of evidence synthesis in providing users in the science-policy interface with the information they need Natalie Tannous & Carina Van Rooyen
What is the evidence on the links between ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in Africa? A demand-led evidence map

Yvonne Erasmus, Laurenz Langer & Natalie Tannous

The plantation forestry industry as an opportunity area for sustainable growth in South Africa

Struan Robertson

Investing in ecological infrastructure to improve water security: The integrated catchment management perspective

Nontutuzelo Gola

Monitoring Framework for Genetically Modified (GM) crops released into the environment of South Africa

Tlou Masehela

Wetland restoration: maximizing the returns on investments in ecological infrastructure Dr Farai Tererai
Innovations in support of the green economic development Ndidzulafhi Nenngwekhulu
The importance of SDG 17 in addressing SA’s biodiversity challenges Dr Lorren Haywood and Ms Nikki Funke
Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga
Lessons on the science policy interface  Harsha Dayal
Strengthening the evidence base - reflecting on the global change grand challenge Ms Kogilam Govender
   
   

 

IPBES 5 PLENARY TOOK PLACE FROM THE 7th to the 10th March 2017
 
IPBES approved the following decisions;

  • Hosting the sixth session from Sunday, 18 March to Saturday, 24 March 2018 in Medellin, Colombia.
  • The implementation of the first work programme of the Platform.
  • Accepting the European Union as an enhanced observer to the Platform.
  • The Catalogue of policy tools and methodologies to undertake an evaluation and to report to the Plenary at its sixth session.
  • Reflecting on the implementation of the four functions of the Platform from the first work program.
  • Recognising and working with indigenous and local knowledge for the participatory mechanism.
  • The adoption of the scoping report on Sustainable Use of Biodiversity (Wild Species).
  • Undertaking an internal review and report the findings at its sixth session.
  • Considering a revised budget for the financial year 2017 - 18, including the remaining period of the work program of the platform.

A draft report is available on www.ipbes.net

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Introduction and background

 

The South African Government through its Department of Environmental Affairs is committed to evidence-based decision making. Through strengthening the science-policy interface South Africa has supported the establishment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. The objective was to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being, and sustainable development.

What is IPBES

  • Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
  • Overall objective: To provide policy-relevant scientific knowledge to inform decision making
  • Established in April 2012, Panama
  • 118 Members-SA played an instrumental role in IPBES est. and is a pioneer member
  • Secretariat hosted in Bonn, Germany

Principles of IPBES

  • Address terrestrial, marine and inland water biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interactions
  • Inter- and multidisciplinary approach
  • Gender equity
  • Collaboration - avoiding duplication
  • Full participation of developing countries
  • Policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive
  • Scientific independence, credibility, relevance, and legitimacy
  • Contribution of indigenous and local knowledge

How is IPBES organized

What will IPBES do?

IPBES was established with four greed functions:

 

 
Knowledge generation Identify knowledge needs of policymakers and catalyse efforts to generate new knowledge
Assessment Deliver global, regional and thematic assessments, and promote and catalyse support for sub-global assessment

Policy support tools

Identify policy relevant tools/methodologies, facilitate their use, and promote and catalyse their further development
Capacity building Prioritize key capacity building needs and provide and call for financial and other support for priority needs

Four functions of IPBES

IPBES analytical conceptual framework

Structure of the work programme

16 deliverables

Institutional arrangements

Mechanisms agreed at IPBES -2:

  • Expert groups: time-bound and task specific expert groups established for specific deliverables
  • Task forces: smaller groups established to consider a specific topic or question and how IPBES will address it
  • Forum on capacity-building: periodic meeting with potential donors to highlight priority needs
  • Technical support units (TSU): to coordinate and support the activities of working groups and task forces

 

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National investment

 

In response to international obligations as well as those within the Department of Environmental Affairs Environment Sector, Research, and Development Framework, the Branch Biodiversity & Conservation has established a Directorate: Science-Policy Interface.

Goal: To provide overall strategic scientific intelligence and leadership in the Directorate: Science Policy Interface - through the coordination of specialist scientific advisory services and research for effective Biodiversity and Conservation decision making.

Objectives:

  • To provide a science policy interface for the Biodiversity Sector
  • To coordinate expertise across different sectors and research councils for Biodiversity Research
  • To provide an analytical and advisory service on scientific developments and trends arising from SA’s obligations in terms of biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements
  • To monitor and evaluate the implementation of National Strategies, programmes, and projects
  • To coordinate and manage key flagship projects and programmes to enhance the intelligence/content of the sector.

 

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South African IPBES Experts 

Below is a list of the current South African IPBES Experts and their relevant area of expertise

Core National IPBES HUB:

 

Expert: Deliverable 4c: Development of the guide and catalogue on policy support tools

Expert: Deliverable 4c: Development of the guide and catalogue on policy support tools

Name Organisation Focal Area
Dr. Luthando Dziba CSIR Expert: Deliverable 1d: Generation, access, and management of knowledge and data
Dr. Colleen Seymour SANBI Expert: Deliverable 3a: Assessment on pollinators, pollination, and food production

Dr. Ruan Veldtman

SANBI

Expert: Deliverable 3a: Assessment on pollinators, pollination and food production

Dr. Belinda Reyers

CSIR Expert: Deliverable 1d: Generation, access, and management of knowledge and data
Dr. Klaus Kellner NW University (Potchefstroom) Expert: Deliverable 3c: Methodological assessment on scenario analysis and modelling

Dr. Klaus Kellner

NW University (Potch) Expert: Deliverable 3c: Methodological assessment on scenario analysis and modelling
Dr. Nicholas King Independent Expert: Deliverable 3c: Methodological assessment on scenario analysis and modeling
Dr Patrick O’Farrell CSIR Expert:3d: Methodological assessment on diverse conceptualizations of value
Dr. Joel Houdet Synergiz Expert: Deliverable 2b:set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Dr. Anton Pauw Stellenbosch Univer sity Expert: Deliverable 3a: The fast Track Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production
Dr, Mduduzi Ndlovu WITS Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Dr. Louis Celliers CSIR Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Balgis Osman- Elasha African Development Bank Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Benis N. Egoh CSIR Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Brian van Wilgen CSIR Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Chris Dickens IWNI Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Claire Ntshane SanParks Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Emma Archer Garderen CSIR Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Graham von Maltitz CSIR Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
James Gambiza Rhodes University Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
John Morris ISS and Synergiz Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Kaera Coetzer WITS Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Laura Pereira UCT Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Lindsey Gillson UCT Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Mathieu Rouget UKZN Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Philip Ivey SANBI Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Phumza Ntshotsho CSIR Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Reinette Biggs Stellenbosch Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Sebataole Rahlao SANBI Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments
Thomas Bornman SAEON Expert:2b: set of regional and sub-regional assessments

National focal point 

 

IPBES Focal Point Kiruben Naicker: Director Science Policy Interface
Telephone No. +27 12 399 9622
E-mail knaicker@environment.gov.za / kiruben@gmail.com

 

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